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Data on 20,000 exposed on Web

  PLAY AUDIO

July 22,2005
Personal information on more than 20,000 individuals was found exposed on the Internet in the first half of the year, the Korean Information Security Agency and the Ministry of Information and Communication said yesterday. “After running a residential registration number search program on 6,000 Web sites, we have found private information of 22,882 individuals vulnerably exposed on 61 different Web sites,” said Jun Sung-bae, an Information Ministry official. The ministry said the residential registration numbers of over 60,000 people were found on 409 Web sites last year. Private information on an individual can easily be found through Internet search engines such as Google. The ministry said it informed the Web sites that had exposed individuals’ private information and they will decide whether to delete the information after consulting those whose data were exposed. In a separate investigation of 12,628 Web sites, 30 percent, or 3,805, have asked individuals to disclose personal information when signing up for the site. Among the 3,805 Web sites, 23 percent, or 875 sites, ignored the official process of getting individuals’ approval before obtaining personal information. The information collected by the Web sites includes residential registration numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers and home addresses. In a survey of 901 Internet companies, 48 percent, or 430 companies, said a residential registration number was unnecessary to sign up for certain sites. More than half said there was no problem in managing customers without the residential registration number. In 2003, 80 percent of the Internet companies said the residential registration number was necessary when signing up for Web sites. by Lee Weon-ho


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